Naked Munros
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Allt horn (Arkle)

(Written by Karla)

As we gained height we reached a point where the wind started to develop quite substantially. We stopped for a rest before the first major ascent from the path. We looked up at the sky and watched the clouds move overhead, realising just how fast the wind must be on the ridge. We had been walking up a path that followed a stream of rock pools and they had been looking increasingly enticing. We decided that it would be more productive and enjoyable to go skinny dipping instead! So we veered off the path and walked down to the stream. Stuart decided that this time he would trying going in first. The first spot we tried was not particularly suitable for skinny dipping and being quite high up in the stream generally too cold. So I took some photos of Stuart and he got dressed again.

Stuart and I both cope with cold conditions in different ways. I have a much stronger resistance to being active in cold weather and cold water. Yet at night I am often sleeping underneath two duvets and snuggling up to a hot water bottle while he is happy underneath one duvet. I think it is because I have a faster metabolism but less body fat and muscle.

We walked down a little bit and came across another potential spot. This time the sun had come out from behind a fast moving but large cloud and I decided to give it a try. I have my own technique for getting into rock pools. I rub the water all over myself and gradually get used to being cold until I don't find much difference between being in and out of the water. I am not one to wade in quickly!

Once I am in I make sure that I start swimming and staying active. Or at the very least start splashing about. After a while the water no longer feels cold and I can stay in for a good hour and a half. I always make sure that I get out once I find my teeth are chattering though.

We had noticed a very attractive rock pool much further down when we had first started walking up so we decided to head for that. Rock pools are far better when they are deep and large enough to allow for proper swimming. It's even better when there is a waterfall to swim against. This time Stuart, frustrated at previously missing out, decided that he would go in no matter what. He went straight in and started swimming. Stuart eventually found that he quite enjoyed just laying in the shallow water on the ledge. This was OK by me though as it meant that it was easier to take photographs.

And finally my chance for a proper swim! I find it's always easier to get into a rock pool a second time so I soon found myself in and swimming towards the waterfall. It was a very satisfying experience, especially as this was the first time I had been properly swimming in a rock pool for several months.


Photographic details